Review Summary: Reverb-heavy guitars shimmer and glint between crashing drums and smooth bass to put forth an often breathtakingly gorgeous sound; albeit very typical of the genre.
There’s no feeling quite like settling down and listening to a newly acquired post-rock record, and it’s obvious that Swedish quartet pg.lost know the feeling well. As soon as the tones of soft ambience begin to hum during the beginning of the title track, you know you may be in for something special. “Yes I Am” is a debut which manages to create a wonderful soundscape full of trembling introductions, fragile build ups and lush crescendos, and features some truly stunning passages spread throughout the several songs featured. Reverb-heavy guitars shimmer and glint between crashing drums and smooth bass to put forth an often breathtakingly gorgeous sound; albeit very typical of the genre.
It’s obvious that pg.lost bear their influences boldly on their sleeve, and therefore, deeply and unashamedly root them in the music they compose. The plodding, repetitive nature of “The Kind Heart of Langion” is particularly reminiscent of the style featured in Explosions in the Sky’s “Earth is not a Cold Dead Place”, whilst the slowly building climax in “Yes I Am” could fit perfectly into a Godspeed You! Black Emperor track. Often the song structures are completely based around a singular riff or chord progression, making use of dynamic movements to create tension and suspense. Although the sound of each song is dense and layered, distortion or heavy tremolo is often used throughout the guitar parts instead of thickening the texture through means of adding more instrumental tracks; the mixing and production, luckily, was done beautifully, with every clean phrase managing to shine against a fuzzy, overdriven background. This achieves an uplifting, soaring effect, which is put to especially good use during the final climax in “Kardusen”.
The crescendos, like most music of this style, are the focus. Although the repeated motifs and progressions can become tedious at times, the pay off is huge when the song finally explodes into the glorious peak the listener constantly waits for. Pg.lost are capable of these moments yet do not always implement them into every track, and this is ultimately where they fail. “The Kind Heart of Langion” is the longest song on the record and establishes itself for over 6 minutes before simply fading out into silence; without an emotional outlet, it tends to drone on and on and is perceived overall as an monotonous loop. “…” is similar in that it never reaches a satisfactory highlight, but is significantly shorter in length, rendering it bearable. Yet despite these two staggers in form, it is easy enough to overlook the weaker second half, as “Yes I Am” is packed full of enough sparkling moments to drag itself over the line. It stands tall next to heavy-weights of the genre, and occassionally, rises higher. This is elegant music and is, for the most part, a joy to listen to.
Recommended tracks include:
- Yes I Am.